‘TUF 25’ Recap: Episode 6

By: Mike Sloan
May 24, 2017
Julian Lane will be fighting later in this episode and everything begins with him bragging to the cameras about how lethal his hands are and how sick his guillotine is. Coach Cody Garbrandt says that he’s known Lane for years, dating back to when they used to fight on the same amateur cards back in Ohio. He’s excited about it and is ready to help Lane on his path to redemption.

Without wasting any time, Lane’s home video from New Jersey rolls. Footage of him in the gym precedes the scenes of him at his real home in Ohio with his daughters. He’s a loyal family guy and he’s heartbroken that he has to leave them to come onto the show. But it’s a dream he’s chasing and as long he believes he can do it, it’ll come true. It’s that simple.

Ramsey Nijem from Season 13 is up next and his comical stripper antics in the house from the first time roll on. Highlights of Tony Ferguson blasting him into orbit in that season’s finale come next, as does footage of him tearing up the lightweight division before falling off again. The last time he was in the Octagon, he lost a controversial decision to Andrew Holbrook and he was so angry that he walked away from the sport. It’s been about 18 months since he’s last fought and he’s been struggling mightily in his new life.

Nijem’s fight prep is next and Coach T.J. Dillashaw likes the matchup between his pupil and Lane. As expected, Nijem is confident like no other and he expects to trounce his upcoming foe once they lock horns.

Lane’s backstory from TUF 16 and his loss to Bristol Marunde follows, as does his ill-fated emotional breakdown inside the house. Of course, the “Let me bang, bro!” meltdown plays and Lane’s isn’t exactly proud of what he did in the TUF house. After exiting the Ultimate Fighting Championship, he toiled in the local circuit in some very small shows, losing in plenty of them. He did eventually capture the CES MMA lightweight belt, though, and now here he is, back in the TUF house.

Nijem, who has recovered from a car wreck several months ago, has been able to take vacations and enjoy his life. His home video from Utah comes next and he’s with his girlfriend in the snow, in the gym and at their home. Ramsey says that his girlfriend has supported him more than anyone ever has before and he’s eventually whisked away.

Both combatants weigh in on point, but tensions soar between the two as Lane gets all up in Nijem’s face. They have to be separated, but moments later, Garbrandt and a few others start mouthing off to Duane Ludwig. Justin Buchholz gets real close and personal with “Bang” and demands to fight him on the TUF 25 Finale prelims, but Ludwig just laughs at him. Just as nerves seem to settle down, “No Love” storms back in and comes after Ludwig; it seems like he tries throwing a punch but he misses. It turns into a scene of men yelling and threatening each other, but nothing serious actually unfolds, even after Garbrandt runs back into the gym -- again -- after Buchholz and Ludwig nearly come to blows… possibly?

Finally, after all the backstage tomfoolery, it’s time to scrap for real. Jason Herzog is the referee and Lane explodes out of his corner. His wild punches miss, but so does Nijem’s counter kick to the head. Nijem eventually has seen enough of the standing battle after getting his beak cracked and shoots in, but he slips into a guillotine. It looks perilous, but Nijem fends it off nicely and eventually, Lane has to relinquish the choke. Nijem is bleeding from the bridge of his nose while he turtles up and spilling blood droplets onto the canvas but before long, he scrambles to his feet and presses his foe into the cage. Lane is inadvertently punched in the groin but after a few moments to catch his breath, the fight resumes. He opts away from the same position and instead wants to let his hands go in the center of the Octagon. They trade some decent shots, which forces Nijem to shoot in and fall into another guillotine. This one is much more threatening and when Lane rolls him over into a mounted guillotine, he nearly forces a tap/nap situation. However, Nijem is slick and eventually escapes as soon as Lane’s arms give out. From there, he scrambles up, lands some punches and then drags Julian down. Nijem easily scoots into mount and begins landing a ton of punches. Lane rolls over, eats several more punches and spits out his mouthpiece, apparently trying to say something to Herzog. With Nijem on his opponent’s back, raining down the blows, Herzog intervenes, officially giving Ramsey the TKO win.

At the ensuing fight announcement, Garbrandt picks Joe Stevenson to take on Justin Edwards and UFC President Dana White is pumped about it. Next week the two coaches will be locked in a room together with White on the TV as they decide what the wild card fight will be. Something dramatic happens as “No Love” storms out of the room.

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